Since it’s the New Year and it’s all about the “new you” - or rather the “old you, but with better skin”! Here’s a quick and easy 5 step guide to help, if you suffer from dry skin or eczema. We talk to eczema specialist Dr Carla Stanton about the five best ways to detox your skin.
1) Stick to a good skincare regime
Having a regular skin care regime is absolutely essential. Even in between flare-ups we should continue these good habits to keep our skin healthy and supple and avoid dryness.
Moisturise at least twice a day, as well as immediately after washing. It is recommended that an adult with eczema should apply at least 500ml of moisturiser per week, 250ml for a child. And, remember: apply it all over, not just on your eczema patches!
2) Get good quality sleep
There’s a reason we need to spend a 1/3 of our lives sleeping - it’s essential for healing and repair and resetting for the next day. Getting consistent good quality sleep is fundamental, because it is at night that our eczema is especially prone to flaring up (often because we can get too hot and sweaty).
3) Eliminate foods that may be triggering your eczema
Having a good diet will help with any allergies. Try to avoid likely offenders like refined sugar (high consumption can disrupt your insulin secretion patterns, and can be pro-inflammatory), and steer clear of the big 3 ‘liver blockers’ (alcohol, caffeine and trans fats). Gluten and dairy are also often responsible for problems. Keep a food diary and consult your doctor before starting any diet changes.
4) Add in healthy healing foods
Consume whole foods and try to make all your meals from scratch as much as possible. Eat fresh foods rich in vitamin C, which is the body’s natural ‘antihistamine’. This is not just citrus fruit, foods high in vitamin c include red and green peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Also consider supplements such as fermented foods and probiotics which are a great source of friendly bacteria.
Eczema is closely linked to the immune system and the hormones of stress.
Exercise is one of the best ways in which you can do this. Taking a gentle walk in the morning sunshine is enough to boost your ‘happy hormone’: serotonin.